Reshma Radhakrishnan presents a working paper on ‚‘Strategic Accommodation’ of Diversities: gender norms and identities beyond the norms and identities beyond the binaries‘

This paper engages with the ways and processes through which gender diversities are accommodated. Taking the case of trans women of Kerala, a small South-Indian state known for its high development indices despite low economic growth, the paper discusses the processes which involve different approaches to activism and their varying receptions . The transgender communities in Kerala today, when compared to the rest of the country, at the outset although certainly arguably enjoy a surprisingly respectable status. With exceptions, they are no longer forced to run away to a strange city that does not even speak their language. An emerging trend in this context is the ‘trans marriages’, or the heterosexual conjugality practiced by trans women and trans men. Using excerpts from interviews and interactions with ten trans women who are popular and at the forefront of the present day movement, and other secondary materials to support, the attempt is to understand and analyse the drastic changes and developments that happened within a very short time-span. The relevance of the questions I ask is in the changed social and political context where the law, the state and the civil society are accommodative of and more open and sensitive than before to sexual and gender diversities.

Having done this, the paper goes on to introduce the case of trans men, and proposes to make sense of the articulations of masculinities by the trans men of Kerala as an assignment for the future.

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